And she: “Sweet and blessed Saviour; let Thy precious love and presence be also about us, to keep us, help us, and bless us; and Father, let the maiden’s voice also join in the prayer that Thou wilt bless us, as one.”
They arose, and turned to each other, with sweet, calm, restful, happy faces; with souls full of trust and confidence, that was to know no change or diminution.
THE GOSPEL OF LOVE.
Julia pointed out the bird’s nest under the roof, and to a faded garland of flowers, hung upon the rough bark of the old hemlock, against which Barton had reclined, and another upon the rock just over where she had rested. In some way these brought to Bart’s mind the flowers on Henry’s grave; and in a moment he felt that her hand had placed them there; the precious little hand that lay so willingly in his own. Raising it to his lips, he said: “Julia, this same blessed hand has strewn my poor dear brother’s grave with flowers.”
“Are you glad, Arthur?”
“Oh, so glad, and grateful! And the same hand wrote me the generous warning against that wretched Greer?”
“Yes, Arthur. Father came home from that first trial distressed about you, and I wrote it. I thought you would not know the hand.”
“I did not—though when your letter came to me in Jefferson, the address reminded me of it. But I did not think you wrote it. And when rumors were abroad of my connection with these men, after I went to Albany, who was it who sent somebody to Ravenna, to get a contradiction from Greer, himself?”
“No one sent anybody: some one went,” in the lowest little voice.
“Oh, Julia! did you go, yourself?”
“With the love of such a woman, what may not a man do?” cried Bart, with enthusiasm. “Julia, I suspect more—that I owe all and everything to you.”
“You saved my life, Arthur, and will you not take little things from me?”
“I owe you for all the love and happiness of all my future, Julia, and for the stimulus that has made me work these three years. You love me; and love takes from love, and gives all it can and has, and is content.”
“Bless you, Arthur!” and affecting to notice the passage of the sun towards the meridian—she turned to him a little anxiously—“What time is it, Arthur?”—as if she cared! He told her, and she extended her hand and took the watch, and toyed with it a moment; “it is a pretty watch, open it, please,” which he did. Looking at it intently, with heightened color, she pointed with the rosy tip of a finger, to an almost hidden inscription, which Bart had never seen before, and which he saw were letters spelling “Julia.” He started up amazed, and for the moment trembled.
“Oh, Julia! all that I have and am, the food I have eaten, the clothes I wear, all came from you! Old Windsor is a fraud—an instrument—and I have carried your blessed name these long months, not knowing it.”